LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Managing stress during the holidays can feel like no easy task.
8 News Now caught up with a neurological expert who has some good tips to help us all breathe a little easier this season.
Though the holidays can mean you are spending a lot of time planning around others, it is important to take care of ourselves and our emotions, according to Dr. Patrick Porter.
“The first thing to realize is that you are just as important as anyone else,” Dr. Porter said.
Stress causes a lack of circulation and blood flow and increases your levels of the hormone cortisol, which is not good.
Dr. Porter advised that preparing for what is going to happen tomorrow can make a huge difference in managing your stress.
Focusing on just one positive thought when you wake up in the morning can also go a long way.
“We see with neuroscience, when you think of a positive thought or big idea of the day, your brain begins to rewire about that new thought and helps you overcome any obstacles that might stand in your way,” Dr. Porter said.
If you are a very high strung person, it can be helpful to calm down your nervous system before going to bed: try listening to music, taking a bath, or doing some simple breathing exercises.
“Breathe in to the mental count of four, breathe out to the count of eight. If you do that for three or four minutes, you’ll be amazed at your sleep the next morning,” Dr. Porter said. “We’re training our nervous system to turn off stress cycle and turn on the relaxation cycle that we need for deep sleep.”
Dr. Porter has developed a free app called Brain Tap, which he said optimizes your brain’s peak potential. It could be a quick and easy way to relax and reboot.